Category: baby name Sullivan
By Abby Sandel
Here’s something we hear again and again: naming a boy is hard!
Parents tend to play it safe – or at least safer – when it’s time to name a son. The reasons are many: a tendency to hand down family names, fewer possible variations of popular boys’ names, a narrower definition of what makes a choice appropriately masculine.
All of those trends are changing today, but the numbers still demonstrate that we’re more willing to take a risk if it’s a girl. Less than 70% of newborn baby girls have received a Top 1000 name over the last decade. But for boys, that figure is closer to 80%.
By Linda Rosenkrantz
At the risk of repeating myself, May was once again a fantastic month for babyberry naming, with yet another wide variety of creative choices. The girls included a poetic Poet and vintage revivals Elsie and Hetty, a boyish Wylie, novel nickname Livvy, and floral middles Blossom and Bluebell. Among the many cool sibsets are Magnolia and Moon; and Ivan, Vivienne and Evelyn (love those v’s!). And so nice to see the prevalence of family homages.
It’s as scandalous a choice in French as it would be in English, and the fellow guests are aghast.
The party goes downhill from there. Other guests are criticized for their children’s “pretentious” names: Myrtille and Apollin.
Such scathing comments are usually reserved for gossip, or maybe anonymous online forums. Can you imagine yourself in a social setting, hearing your child’s name ripped to shreds? Let’s hope the movie – and the play it is based on – are pure fiction.
Then again, even if Adolf is your beloved grandfather’s given name, I would think long and hard about giving the name to a son. It’s one of a very few names, like Lucifer, that strike me as off limits for good reason.
By Linda Rosenkrantz
It’s not unusual to find interesting and creative names among the leading figures in all spheres of the arts, but there’s a really stellar group to be found among notable architects. International in scope, and looked at across time, here are some of the most intriguing first and last name examples–any of which you might want to consider if you’re an architecture aficionado—or if there’s an architect in your family.
Addison Mizner was one of the key developers of Florida resort architecture, Spanish Revival style. Mizner was born in 1872, when Addison was strictly a boys’ name—it didn’t begin to take off for girls until 1994, but still can make a valid patronymic choice for a boy.
Cass Gilbert was an early proponent of the Beaux Arts style skyscraper, designing, among others, the Woolworth Building in New York—the world’s tallest building at the time. He was named for a statesman-relative called Lewis Cass, but the name stands well on its own as a first. Sinclair Lewis wrote a novel about a judge called Cass Timberlane.
Decimus Burton was a prolific nineteenth century English architect and garden designer whose works included buildings at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew Gardens and the London Zoo. Decimus is one of the old Latin numeral names that adventurous babynamers are beginning to consider.
The current popularity lists are full of Irish baby names that are also surname names—Ryan, Riley, Brody, Brady, Brennan, Connor, Keegan, and Quinn, to name just a few—and have been for quite some time. For the most part, they have been two- and occasionally one-syllable names; we’d like to suggest that the next wave will consist of the bouncier, even friendlier and more genial names with three syllables, and here are some of the best candidates.
Branigan—a possible update for Brandon; the name means the descendant of the son of the raven, the latter being a nickname for the first chief of the clan. Spelled Brannigan, it was a 1975 John Wayne movie, and Zapp Brannigan is the antihero of the satirical animated sitcom Futurama
Cullinan—not as familiar as some of the others but has a long and distinguished Irish history—and, for a bit of trivia, the Cullinan diamond was the largest rough diamond ever found (3,000+ carats) when discovered in 1905.